Saturday, November 17, 2012

Wonderful Food in Switzerland

I love the food in Switzerland, I could live there easily if it was not so cold in the Winter. Switzerland is so extremely beautiful that its food often gets overlooked. But pay attention, you can eat very well there. If you visit Switzerland you should have a taste of Switzerland food. In fact one of the best ways to enjoy a tour to Switzerland is to know about its food and enjoy it.

Finding a great meal

Tea Rooms serve hot drinks, alcohol and pastries, and are found in most towns. Go to these places for breakfast or mid-morning or afternoon snack. They are also a nice place for a late afternoon coffee or drink. Some Tea Rooms have separate pastry counters. Go in and pick your pastry. The person behind the counter hands it to you on a plate. In some places you must pay for the pastry then, other places it is added to your bill.

In the large towns, you will find traditional Swiss restaurants along with - Indian, Chinese, Thai, Italian, etc. However, In small mountain towns, you may find an Italian restaurant in the south, or a
German one in the north, but most restaurants will serve traditional Swiss food. Menus are much like what we are used to in the US. Starters (appetizers and soups) followed by main courses and then coffee and dessert. Bread is usually served with the meal.

Great Swiss Foods

Like me, the Swiss love cheese and some that I tried I have never had before. Switzerland is home to about 450 varieties of cheese Cows milk is used in about 99 percent of the cheeses produced. The remaining share is made up of sheep's milk and goat's milk. There's much more to Swiss cheese than making holes!
  • Hard cheese, 
  • Soft cheese, 
  • Local cheese made in mountain chalets, 
  • Regional cheese made in valley factories, 
  • Cheese shaved into rosettes, 
  • Cheese boxed in red pine, 
  • Cheese dusted with flour and melted in wine, 
  • Hot cheese dribbled over potatoes to make raclette 
Every chance you get, try  the local cheese favorites.


Traditional preparation requires the Raclette cheese round to be heated, either in front of a fire or by a special machine, then scraped onto diners' plates.  Traditionally, it is accompanied by small firm  potatoes, gherkins, and dried meat such as ham. “Raclette” comes from the French "racler," “to scrape.”


Fondue is Gruyeres cheese, Swiss cheese, white wine, garlic, and kirsch melted in a pot. The pot is brought to the table and put on a flame. You use a long fork to dip pieces of bread into the cheese mixture. You can ask for potatoes as well as the bread for dipping. In the Valais, tomatoes’ are added to the traditional cheese fondue. Frequently restaurant menus offer Fondue only for two people, but we found one place where you could pay a small supplement to have it for just one person - so I would ask if you want it for one only.

You are to place the bread on your fork, dip it into the kirsch, and then dip it into the cheese ... be careful, the alcohol adds up much faster than you might imagine. 


Rosti, fried potatoes, is a very popular dish at the mountain restaurants. You can get them plain, with cheese or with one or two fried eggs.


This is a open faced melted cheese sandwich. This dish is also served at most mountain restaurants.

Swiss Chocolate

Do you love chocolate? I love it!

I consider Swiss chocolate to be the BEST in the world. But it wasn't. Here is a little secret about Swiss Chocolate because I always thought that chocolate was first made in Switzerland.
In 1502, chocolate was first introduced to Spain from Christopher Columbus who returned from his forth voyage to the New World. The Spaniards learned about cocoa from the Aztecs at the time of the Spanish invasion in 1519.

Spanish explorers learned to convert the bitter cocoa into a beverage and its origin and preparation method was a secret for 100 years. The ancient Aztecs and Mayan cultures discovered the value of the cocoa plant. They believed that power and wisdom came from eating the fruit of the cacao tree.
Introduced to Europe in the 16th and 17th century, chocolate was a great success and production spread to Switzerland. However, cocoa and sugar were in short supply in the 1800's; so, an enterprising Swiss business man, M. Daniel Peter added milk to chocolate to extend the cocoa and it ended up producing a smoother chocolate.

The experimentation took 8 years to perfect before he took his product to Henry Nestle the maker of evaporated milk. Nestle had perfected the manufacture of condensed milk, he and Peter hit upon the idea of mixing sweetened condensed milk with chocolate and viola, Swiss Chocolate was born! Just a few decades later the Swiss made a successful reputation and foreign manufactures spread throughout the world using their technical genius to manufacture  sweet, smooth Swiss chocolate.

The Pig had little to do with the process, but I just had to show you this cute picture of a cow kissing a little pig!


If you are a food lover and want to learn more about Chocolate, I highly recommend this book. It will be a great conversation starter as well.  Also, while Fondue was popular in the US back in the 70's you might be hard pressed to find a good recipe for Fondue and a very authentic Fondue set. Enjoy!

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